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Lights out as Tenterden's Christmas tree lacks some festive sparkle

By Kristina Curtis

The centrepiece of Tenterden town centre’s Christmas display – the large tree outside the town hall – is getting people talking for the wrong reason, as only half of it is lit up.

The tree has been up since November 18 as part of the Christmas lights and market events.

Yet, when the tree lights go on only part of it is illuminated, with the side facing the town hall glowing to match the other Christmas decorations on the building but the side facing the Woolpack Pub left in darkness.

Only part of the Christmas Tree is lighting up
Only part of the Christmas Tree is lighting up

It is believed the lights haven’t been working properly since last Thursday, and have been causing electrical problems in the town hall where they are powered from.

Tenterden Rotary Club have been organising the town’s Christmas tree for more than 50 years.

Kelvin Williams, a Rotary club member, said: “The tree was put up for the Christmas lights and market and was working well until last week.

“We believe that because of the bad weather we’ve had, and the heavy rain, water has got into some of the circuits.

“This was then tripping the electrics in the town hall so we decided to turn them off.

Only part of the Christmas Tree is lighting up
Only part of the Christmas Tree is lighting up

He added: “We’ve had to isolate some of the lights so now not all of them are working properly but because it is electrics we didn’t want to mess with them.

“We’ve already got replacement lights for the tree so these should be up sometime soon.”

The tree was donated to the town by Hole Park Estates and put up by the team from CS Mitchell Highways Ltd.

This isn’t the first time the Christmas decorations in Tenterden have faced problems.

In Christmas 2012, there was a race against time to decorate the high street after £15,000 worth of lights used for the trees were stolen from storage behind St Michael’s fire station.

Then, the following year, it seemed that Tenterden was getting into the Christmas spirit in August after lights were spotted in the trees - but it turned out that the lights were just being tested for the winter.

Only part of the Christmas Tree is lighting up
Only part of the Christmas Tree is lighting up

There has also been a problem with the Christmas tree before.

In 2014, the owner of Rising Star, Tara McCarraher, complained that the town centre Christmas tree was blocking her festive windows at the busiest time of the year.

Since then, the tree has been positioned further away from the shop, nearer the town hall.

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